All Jokes Aside: Our Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019 Reviews

21 August 2019

Bags packed, schedules full and a certain flare of excitement in the air, Debbie and Payal headed off to Edinburgh to discover what’s happening on the comedy  scene. We hit the streets to find some of this seasons up and coming acts, and report our findings back to you. This way, you have the most up to date and insightful knowledge to make an informed decision for your next event. Perfect for  awards nights , perhaps as  after-dinner entertainment  or even as guests arrive to an event, there are so many options for these talented individuals.

Complete with bags of popcorn and fairy floss in hand, they laughed their way through the fringe and have come back to report on the acts they saw and who has made their top picks!

Kieron Boyd

Payal went to see Kieron and thought he was “genuinely funny!”. Reflecting on his 20s, Kieron dives into the reckless and somewhat successful past, and his memories of being in a sketch group with two of his friends.

My friend came in and told us he joined a gym, little later did we find out (when Incredible high) it was a pleasure dome for men”.

Matt Stellingwerf

Up next was Matt who Payal went to see. Described as ‘educationally funny!!’, Matt intertwines his New Zealand background, his PHD and interviews with serial killers on death row to form his set. He named his show “Sisyphus” after Greek Methodology to sound smart, but didn't realise in this day and age it would be pronounced at ‘syphilis’.. oops!

Matt Winning

Matt Winning is an environmental scientist, researcher and comedian! A highlight for Debbie as he ‘educated while he entertained’. Passionate about the environment and climate change, he delivers confronting facts and figures with jokes so they resonate with the audience. Such a great stage presence!

Jacob Hawley

Payal found Jacob both entertaining and relatable for the generation. His set is on his lads holiday to Faliraki, how he fell in love for the first time, social classes and being brought up middle class, as well as supporting feminism!

“The BBC announced they are hiring more working-class people, so I drew a Nike tick on my chinos and told dad to hide the Mercedes”

Joanne McNally

Self-titled as Irelands comedy sweetheart, Debbie saw Joanne and, we quote, “my cheeks hurt from laughing, soooo funny!”. Joanne makes observations on her own life of being single, wanting kids and her friendship group, and seamlessly uses the audience where necessary. A definite favourite of Debbie’s and would be able to create relevant and intelligent material for corporate events!

Naomi McDonald

Mimicking different personalities from some of the world celebrities including the likes of Fern Cotton, Nigella Lawson and Adele, Naomi was quoted by Payal as ‘the best act of the day’! Lots of personality, lots of enthusiasm & lots of laughs the whole way through!

Ross Smith

A rising star on the comedy circuit, Ross was super relaxed and very engaging! His show is about men showing their feelings, and it’s hilarious. A natural at using the audience, Ross was one of Debbie’s faves and is definitely one to watch. A cheeky chappy for corporate comedy sets.

The Beautiful Game

A tribute to football through contemporary dance, sounds dull – but it’s not! A very clever, inventive and joyful performance that captures the joy and pain of being a football fan. Debbie went along to see them, and although she had no idea what to expect going in, she came out feeling really good, upbeat and entertained. Another favourite of hers! This feel-good show would be the perfect end to a conference or corporate dinner - something different that would appeal to men, women and children alike!

Lucy Beaumont

Lucy talks jokes about life in Yorkshire, family, giving birth to an “alien” and being sleep deprived. Payal thinks it was very family orientated and relatable.

“As you grow older you start giving less f’s - my 50 year old mum came round to have tea and after a while just casually took of her bra and put it on the table and carried on”

Eshaan Akbar

A well-educated comic who writes articles for the Guardian! Eshaan is a lapsed Muslim who provides a dual perspective of Islam. He talks about his romantic history and how his family are trying to make him an eligible bachelor. Could be a very interesting and entertaining keynote as he is well versed on topics surrounding race and education.

Tom Parry

“Parryoke was brilliant!!” Tom uses karaoke and stories to create a fun, upbeat set. He talks about wedding speeches, family and makes constant references to the 90’s. One of Payal’s favourites!

“Wedding speeches are the pinnacle of every wedding, they can either make it or kill it”

Sophie Duker

Payal went to see Sophie and “what a show!! She’s incredible!” were the words used to describe the performance. Sophie talks about being black and being a triple threat, sexuality, tinder and celebs who take things to a whole new level such as Stacey Dooley.

“Here’s me imitating Stacey Dooley with a mayonnaise bottle as my white friends wouldn't lend me their kids for sympathy for my tinder page”

Susie McCabe

A down-to-earth Glaswegian comic, Susie was a top favourite of Debbie’s! With hilarious insights into her life from her ex-wife, to then being back on the dating scene and living back with her parents, to her new girlfriend and living arrangements, Susie is a naturally funny storyteller and raconteur. Susie is a naturally funny storyteller and raconteur who will leave a corporate audience with their sides splitting and their cheeks aching.

Huge Davis

Huge is exceptionally talented and uses music to create his set with the help of audience participation! He talks about his childhood, daft punk, music world and the creepy ice cream van music. We think we can all relate to that…

“Head shoulder knees and toes is a song for a serial killer if you create lyrics for the other body parts”

Ray Badran

It was Ray’s first time at fringe and Payal thought he was pretty good! His set is on moving to London from Australia, lounging in the apartment all day, stealing a pizza and going to physio. One to watch!

Harry Baker

A rapping, spoken word mathmetician, Harry is an adorable nerd! His spoken word, according to Debbie ‘is amazing and so intelligent’. He was the Poetry World Slam Champion in 2012 and on the other end of the spectrum, he is part of the rap battle community! With a degree in maths, he likes to use a lot of numbers in his poetry to combine the two. Another top favourite! Harry would be the perfect conference close for the education sector - or anyone who likes their facts rapped.

Jessie & Bebe Cave

Jessie and Bebe were highly relatable to those who have an older sister and were, according to Payal, ‘conversationally funny’. There set is on everyday life chats between sisters, with Jessie being the older one with kids and Bebe is the younger on living her life as a student.

Tom Toal

Tom had a family friendly set with relatable jokes for those with young children. Pulling from his wife being from Liverpool, family holidays, his child and being the stay at home dad as a full-time job, the audience giggled during the entire set!

Gareth Richards

Musically and comedically talented, Gareth entertained the crowd with an hour of endless humour mixed with a few pieces of music on his Q Chord. Both charming and warming to the audience, his set was on 40 years of his life and how he came into comedy and family.

Kevin Quantum

State of the art magician, fusing science and magic, Kevin had an amazing art of deception that left the audience in constant bewilderment. With everything from disappearances to levitations, and even hidden notes, the show had a very science/space vibe with great lighting and illusions. Kevin won't fail to wow you at your next conference or dinner!

Daliso Chaponda

UK-based Malawian comic who came 3rd in Britains Got Talent 2017, Daliso was a naturally funny relaxed guy with great stage presence. A show about disgrace, blacklisted celebs and historical figures we once admired, such as Michael Jackson, he also talks about his own family disgrace in a highly amusing way! His lovely attitude of not taking life too seriously as well as his awareness of the world in which we live will leave your delegates informed and entertained at the same time.

Ben Hart

Magician and magic-inventor, a true master of his art, Ben had amazing sleight of hand magic and illusions. Using a camera operator to project his sleight of hand tricks so the room could see, he weaves a historical narrative throughout his performance about the Butterfly effect and tales of family. Debbie thought he had great stage presence, was charming and very confident. Another one to add to the favourites list! Someone your audience will be talking about for days, months and even years (and they'll still never know how he does it!).

After a few full days of laughing their socks off, Debbie and Payal have now shared their favourite acts with us all. Spanning everything from comedy to magic, and even some dance entertainment, there really is something for everyone. Hot from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, get in touch to find out how they can best compliment your event.

Check out of top picks from last years Edinburgh Fringe here !

For further information or to book a speaker, call us on +44 (0)20 7607 7070  or email .

Newsletter Sign Up

If you liked this article then why not sign up to our newsletters? We promise to send interesting and useful interviews, tips and blogs, plus free event invites too.

Speakers Corner Newsletter

* indicates required

Have an enquiry?

Send us a message online and we'll respond within the hour during business hours. Alternatively, please call us our friendly team of experts on +44 (0) 20 7607 7070.

Speakers Corner (London) Ltd,
Ground and Lower Ground Floor,
5-6 Mallow Street,